We are so excited to share this news with you! Orange-based publisher Dirt Lane Press recently wound up its solo operation, but will continue in both name and spirit as an imprint of WestWords.

Visit: Dirtlane Press

Dirt Lane Press founder and publisher Margrete Lamond, says, “After seven years Dirt Lane Press has reached a point in its evolution where it has outgrown the available resources required to keep it flourishing and expanding. The clearest way forward was to find Dirt Lane a home with an organisation that shares our goals and aspirations, and that has the resources to help the list grow in the ways we always envisioned for it.”

Michael Campbell, Executive Director of WestWords, says, “We are thrilled to bring Dirt Lane Press under the umbrella of WestWords. We see this as a natural evolution to the work we do. Both organisations share similar philosophies, seeking to develop and reveal the otherwise untold stories of contemporary Australia. We are also fortunate that Margrete Lamond will continue as publisher, bringing another layer of depth of experience and knowledge to the WestWords organisation. We are looking forward to continuing the Dirt Lane legacy into the future.”

The first title for Dirt Lane, as part of WestWords, was published on March 1st. It is The Tree of Ecstasy and Unbearable Sadness by the 2021 Prime Minister’s Literary Award Award winner Matt Ottley. The book is a ground-breaking, large-scale multi-modal project weaving together literature, music and visual art, and film in the poignant story of one boy’s journey into mental illness.

WestWords is dedicated to celebrating and championing the stories of the people, places and cultures that comprise the heart of Western Sydney. Dirt Lane Press also ran community book-related projects for refugees, the homeless, youth groups and women’s groups, fulfilling its aim of bringing quality books to demographics not usually associated with picture books, and demonstrating how small stories can make big differences to people’s lives.

You may recall that Dirt Lane Press has worked with WestWords in the past, most notably in the multi-lingual e-publication of the picture book Where Happiness Hides by Anthony Bertini, with illustrations by Jennifer Goldsmith, and the touring exhibition of original art by Persian artists, Birds of a Feather. For these reasons, and more, we can see that this is such a compatible fit. Margrete says: “Dirt Lane coming under the umbrella of WestWords is a liaison made in heaven and I’m both curious and excited to see where all this leads us. Uncharted territory is always the most interesting.”